3 July 2019

Has child immigration detention ended in the UK?

This is a question we get asked sporadically. Ending child detention was such a huge campaign around 2009 and 2010. Now few people seem to pay much attention to what has happened since.

As the Independent Monitoring Board recently issued their report on Gatwick Pre-Departure Accommodation, the same question popped up. So we put together a Twitter thread. It is far from a comprehensive explanation of the history of “ending child detention” – but we hope it gives those who are interested something to read and investigate further.

Recently, the issue of child detention was raised again in Scotland, when Freedom of Information request showed 19 children had been held there since 2014, including at least five below the age of 16. We assume these children were those who were originally and wrongly assessed as over the age of 18 and were detained, and not part of Family Returns Process our Twitter thread deals with.

For the latest development on child immigration detention within the EU, have a look at PICUM’s briefing paper, ‘Child Immigration Detention in the EU’, published in March 2019.